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Why training camps are so important

A training camp is where you go to train, eat, sleep, repeat. Or do you?





For full time and part time athletes training camps are times in your training calendar when you boost your physiology and add extra layers to your psychology. It is also a place in time when you forge strong team bonds, add extra layers to the knowledge of your chosen sport and immerse yourself into the world of an “Elite” athlete.

A training camp is a place you will go, usually abroad & somewhere warm, away from your normal training venue and your “home”. I say “home” because Elite athletes, say in Olympic year, could be away from their normal environment for 6 months or more of the year.

When you arrive at your training venue, you will be there to train intensely for 1 or more weeks.  The focus is on training volume but there also opportunities to ingrain technical improvements, learn from other athletes & coaches and to galvanise friendships. This is a time when other distractions are not possible; why waste time and energy on something that is only a distraction from the main aim of being on camp.





Training at home is restricted by time constraints; work and family/social commitments, to name just a few. Some session types may be sacrificed because your last meeting at the office over-ran, or it was your turn to cook and clear away after supper. However, clear of those commitments you will be able to focus in on these extra exercises whilst on camp.

Refuelling and resting play a big part in the success of your camp. It is essential to increase your fuel intake to cover the extra mileage. But it is a balance; we have seen athletes who linger around the food hall, grazing because they are bored. This can result in some extra kgs they need to shift at a later time.

Recovery strategies should cover both mental and physical wellbeing. Too much hyper action away from training will not help your mind to rest. You are away from your normal life, so try not to let it encroach your training, taking away your focus and draining your mental energy. Some athletes like to take regular naps, some prefer to take a longer “siesta”; everyone is different.

Careful planning and a clear understanding of your next sessions will help you decide your daily routine. At home, you may be restricted to times that conveniently fit around your priorities and this is perfectly normal. But on camp, you can be more flexible. You can train when you want to and give yourself the length of breaks you need.

Completing the program will be your main objective but make sure you don’t have to crawl back to the airport. The journey home is fraught with illness possibilities and when you do arrive back home losing some days training because of fatigue induced illness will risk losing some of the gains you’ve made whilst being away.  

You should return home a better athlete but what you put into it will determine what you take out. If you arrive with a strong mental attitude, knowing what your goals and aims are, and complete the program, you will undoubtedly return home ready to take on the next challenge.


Also on WhichTrainingCamp | Swimming Training Camps | Rowing Training Camps | Cycling Training Camps | Triathlon Training Camps | Athletics Training Camps | Running Training Camps | Find a Coach | Nutrition Articles | Sports Talk | Location & Facilities |

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